Schieffer: Do-nothing Congress begins five-week vacation with not much done
(CBS News) WASHINGTON - There will be three more unemployment reports before the election. Congress has gone on vacation for the next five weeks, leaving work on their desks involving jobs, taxes and the budget deficit.
Congress managed to get through last year without passing one single piece of significant legislation. It would be hard to do worse than that, but this crowd may actually manage to do it.
Anyone whose been watching television lately knows American crops are dying on the vine. But when Congress left town Thursday night, they couldn't even agree on drought relief for struggling farmers and live stock producers.
"Let's go home and prepare for a farm bill debate when we come back. But most importantly lets just go home!" said Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma to his colleagues in Congress.
Not to worry, maybe it will rain. Farmers shouldn't feel slighted, though. Congress also could not agree on a plan to protect our vital infrastructure from cyberattacks. Most national security experts say that's fairly important, too.
And there's also a couple of fairly important items that have to be resolved one of these days: whether to let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year, and whether or not to block a draconian $110 billion across-the-board cut in defense and domestic spending.
No word on what if anything they plan to do about those items. Truth is, no one expects them to do anything until after the election. The way it stands right now, if the U.S. Capitol caught on fire, this Congress could find a way to make it a partisan issue and do everything but call the fire department.
- Bob Schieffer
Bob Schieffer is CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation.Follow on Twitter »
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